Fluency affects comprehension by making it easier to understand the text and interpret the meaning. Here are five ways to improve reading fluency.
- Practice the fundamentals
- Read for fun
- Read aloud
- Track Progress
- Get your reps in
Reading fluency is reading smoothly and accurately, so you can better understand your reading. Those who struggle with fluency struggle with decoding words. Their brain capacity is filled with decoding words. There is little room left to combine the words of the sentence and paragraph and figure out what the author is trying to say.
Practice the Fundamentals
Practicing the fundamentals of decoding and phonics is key to improving fluency. These are the building blocks that will enhance speed and accuracy. Sounding out words based on phonics and learning to break longer terms down by syllables will help to build struggling readers’ confidence. 2 simple ways to help students learn phonics are one show the letter and say the sound and have students repeat. The other is to say the sound and have students identify the letter. As students become proficient with these, beginning to match sounds with combinations of letters comes next. Identifying basic sounds and words will help improve reading fluency in four other ways.
Read for Fun
Reading for fun is a surefire way to improve reading fluency. When your child is interested and engaged with what they are reading, it is more likely that they’ll pay attention to what they are reading and remember what they have read. Attention to a text and remembering what is read not only helps with fluency but also with its close partner, reading comprehension. A tutor’s job is to select texts from multiple genres to help students figure out and find authors the students might enjoy.
There are many ways to help students find books they might enjoy to improve their reading fluency. Two ways tutors can help students find books they like are to ask students and look for recommendations. Tutors can ask students about books they have enjoyed or TV or streaming shows they like. Getting books based on these interests is often as simple as visiting the local library. The other way is to look for recommendations from trusted sites. These can be local library websites and other online literary sources.
Reading aloud is a crucial strategy a tutor can employ because there isn’t a whole class of 22 students that a child has to feel self-conscious about. Reading aloud helps improve fluency because students have the opportunity to not only see the words but to hear them. As students struggle with particular words, this allows the tutor to coach the student on pronunciation and pacing.
Giving students control of their improvement by having them record themselves on a digital device and then listen to themselves is an additional technique that can be used to improve fluency. Two ways reading aloud impacts students are that it can be motivational and increase reading comprehension.
Frequently struggling readers aren’t motivated to read because they feel embarrassed. Reading one on one with a tutor can ease their fears and, as they improve, increase their motivation to keep reading.
Reading aloud can increase reading comprehension. This is because when students read aloud, they have to slow down. This allows their brain time to catch up to the words they are reading because they pay closer attention to the words on the page.
Tracking progress helps build students’ intrinsic motivation. They can listen for improvement in their digital recordings. They can also time themselves and look for an increase in reading speed. Tutors can encourage their students to beat their times, improve their fluency, and become more confident and effective readers.
Tracking reading progress can help struggling readers. This feedback shows strengths and weaknesses. It gives them control over their learning process. Having authority can provide that extra motivation to keep up the hard work.
Building confidence is a significant objective for struggling readers. Even if their progress is slow, students can still look at their own data and see in black and white that they ARE improving. Improvement over time is the very nature of lifelong learning, and one of the main reasons being a fluent reader is so important.
Getting Your Reps In
Getting your reps in is much easier if students continue to improve their fundamentals, enjoy what they’re reading, and set goals for improvement. Practice and repetition are keys to success, like improving any other skill. Having a tutor creates a structured time to get those reading reps in. Like having an athletic trainer, tutors help hold students accountable for what they’re practicing and how they’re practicing. Two additional reasons practice is essential for struggling readers are that it builds reading endurance and can help them learn strategies to improve their fluency and comprehension.
Building endurance can help them read for extended periods without getting mentally tired. This mental fatigue is something that will hinder reading comprehension.
Practice can help struggling readers increase their reading comprehension by assisting them in working on reading strategies. These are strategies that they have been explicitly taught by teachers or tutors, like asking themselves questions as they read and making connections to their own lives.
Evaluation and Assessment
Practice and repetition are keys to improving reading fluency and reading comprehension. To help parents, the best tutors use an evaluation and assessment to determine their child’s fluency level. They use this data to create a personalized program to help students quickly increase their fluency and reading comprehension.
By incorporating these five easy ways to improve reading fluency, parents can support their child’s growth in reading comprehension. Tutors, equipped with assessments and personalized programs, can accelerate progress, leading to greater fluency and enhanced overall comprehension skills. With dedication, practice, and the proper support, students can become confident and effective readers, paving the way for lifelong learning success.